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Conceptualising, delineating and analysing business networks

Conceptualising, delineating and analysing business networks Purpose – The purpose of this article is to explore possible contributions to the development of models to define business networks conceptually, and identify and delineate them empirically by integrating concepts and ideas from “market exchange theory” originating in the works of Alderson. Design/methodology/approach – Following a conceptual discussion defining business networks as a type of exchange system, empirical data were used to exemplify and illustrate the theoretical development ideas. From data on 22 business firms collected in 1999‐2001 in the form of transcribed interviews and other print documentation, a business network as a type of exchange system was identified comprising five business entities. This case serves as illustration to the remainder of the theoretical discussions throughout the paper. Findings – Based on a conceptualisation of business networks as a type of exchange system and a notion of interaction encompassing exchange processes stemming from both market exchange theory and social exchange theory, it is suggested that business networks can be more consistently identified and delineated empirically using this theoretical base. Research limitations/implications – The empirical case is merely illustrative, and more extensive empirical work is needed to further test the ideas of business networks as a type of exchange system. The implications to the study of markets‐as‐networks are that these ideas can be used as a basis for identification, delineation and analysis of business networks. Originality/value – This paper extends Alderson's work by suggesting a fourth type of transformation: transformation in ownership, as well as by developing a typology with five resource types in the exchange system. Furthermore, it provides a conceptual tool that can be used by researchers to identify, delineate and analyse business networks and incorporates market exchange theory. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png European Journal of Marketing Emerald Publishing

Conceptualising, delineating and analysing business networks

European Journal of Marketing , Volume 40 (3/4): 24 – Mar 1, 2006

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2006 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0309-0566
DOI
10.1108/03090560610648110
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this article is to explore possible contributions to the development of models to define business networks conceptually, and identify and delineate them empirically by integrating concepts and ideas from “market exchange theory” originating in the works of Alderson. Design/methodology/approach – Following a conceptual discussion defining business networks as a type of exchange system, empirical data were used to exemplify and illustrate the theoretical development ideas. From data on 22 business firms collected in 1999‐2001 in the form of transcribed interviews and other print documentation, a business network as a type of exchange system was identified comprising five business entities. This case serves as illustration to the remainder of the theoretical discussions throughout the paper. Findings – Based on a conceptualisation of business networks as a type of exchange system and a notion of interaction encompassing exchange processes stemming from both market exchange theory and social exchange theory, it is suggested that business networks can be more consistently identified and delineated empirically using this theoretical base. Research limitations/implications – The empirical case is merely illustrative, and more extensive empirical work is needed to further test the ideas of business networks as a type of exchange system. The implications to the study of markets‐as‐networks are that these ideas can be used as a basis for identification, delineation and analysis of business networks. Originality/value – This paper extends Alderson's work by suggesting a fourth type of transformation: transformation in ownership, as well as by developing a typology with five resource types in the exchange system. Furthermore, it provides a conceptual tool that can be used by researchers to identify, delineate and analyse business networks and incorporates market exchange theory.

Journal

European Journal of MarketingEmerald Publishing

Published: Mar 1, 2006

Keywords: Networking; Exchange; Buyer‐seller relationships

References